Western Pastimes: Billiards Buddies Follow-Up

By Maureen A. Taylor

In the May/June 2014 issue of Family Tree Magazine is a photo of six men standing with billiard cues.

Two of the men are Charlotte Flock’s maternal and paternal grandfathers. Instead of a formal portrait, Flock’s ancestors posed during a pause in their favorite pastime.

On the far left is Ira Willard Mayfield (born Feb. 4, 1872)

Next to him is Flock’s paternal grandfather Michael Schmitt (born Sept. 12, 1871)

Their clothing provides possible clues to their occupations. Mayfield and Schmitt were farmers. The man in the center wears dress pants and a necktie. He could be a storekeeper.

The man to the far right appears to be a laborer, while the man with the cigarette wears very clean chinos and a shirt.

Their identity is currently unknown. But the man in the chaps provides a clue to his name—there are initials on his chaps, J.T.

A search of the 1910 federal census for Mulhall Twp, Logan County, Okla., turned up a possibility. It’s a really small town, so browsing the census returns using HeritageQuest online (a ProQuest database available through many libraries) didn’t take very long.

The only man with the initials J.T. was John Thompson, a grocery store owner.

Next week I’ll share new information about where that billiard hall was located.

Solve your family photo mysteries with these books by Maureen A. Taylor:

  • Family Photo Detective: Learn How to Find Genealogy Clues in Old Photos and Solve Family Photo Mysteries
  • Fashionable Folks: Bonnets and Hats 1840-1900
  • Preserving Your Family Photographs
  • Fashionable Folks: Hairstyles 1840-1900
  • Finding the Civil War in Your Family Album